“See What Sticks”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Inside Llewyn Davis is the latest film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and the story follows a weekend in the life of the title character as he tries to become a success as a folksinger in New York City.

Inside Llewyn Davis

As with most Coen Brothers movies, this one has already won some awards, been nominated for more, and will probably win a few more during this awards season.

Also as with most Coen Brothers movies, audiences love them, hate them, or can take them or leave them. This one, I can leave.

The time is February 1961, and we see Llewyn performing at a cafe in Greenwich Village for bucket money. While he is singing, a bucket is passed around the audience, and he gets to keep whatever money is left in the bucket after the house takes its cut.

Llewyn doesn’t have a regular place to stay, and he depends on the kindness of friends to be allowed to sleep on their couches. So, he wakes up one morning after being awakened by the owners’ cat, and when he leaves the apartment, the cat follows him outside.

Unfortunately, the door locks behind him, and a running motif in the story has Llewyn carrying a cat around with him until he can return it to the owners.

Other friends of Llewyn’s are a folksinging team of Jim and Jean, played by Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan, and when Llewyn goes to see Jean at their little apartment, Jean shows him a note that says, “I’m pregnant.”

Jean doesn’t know who the father is, it could be Llewyn, it could be Jim, or it could even be someone else.

Then Llewyn goes on a road trip to Chicago, where he hopes to advance his struggling career, and he meets Roland Turner, played by John Goodman in yet another of his many roles that steal scenes and even movies.

Well, Chicago doesn’t work out for Llewyn, either, and he goes back to New York City, only now he is so despondent that he tries to become a sailor in the merchant marine again.

The Coen Brothers seem to throw everything at the wall just to see what sticks, which includes bookends to the movie that don’t make much sense.

Inside Llewyn Davis is too “inside” for my taste.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”